Work from home Ergonomics
‘Ergonomics’ is taken a little more seriously in the times of COVID-19, now that majority of us are working from home.
So, what exactly does it mean?
According to Posturite, UK, it means ‘..optimising products and environments to help users enjoy a better overall experience’. It is a combination of physical, psychological and social factors.
Let me give you a simple example, ever wondered why Offices have Swirling chairs with wheels, high back support and comfortable armrests? That is because, suppose, say, the employees are given a simple plastic chair, their bodies may start to ache and that might not be an ideal physical state to work. Ergonomics is the reason why we have A.Cs, adjustable keyboards, lighter laptops, adjustable desks and chairs, quite environment, appropriate lighting, fun activities, pantries, coffee stations, play zones in the office. Making Working Environment suitable for us humans to perform better.
Now that our home is our workstation, not only the employees but ‘We’ also have to take care of these factors. Read on to know what you can do to make your Work from Home Experience better and not painful.
1) Drink lots of water:
It is recommended time and again to drink 4 litres of Water everyday along with a warm glass of water in the morning. Drinking water keeps us hydrated, cleanses the body waste, boosts metabolism, balances blood sugar and promotes healthy skin. The benefits of drinking water are innumerable.
I have seen people not consuming enough water while WFH.
Make sure you take this seriously.
2) Maintain an upright Posture while you work:
As discussed above, not many of us have an access to such ergonomic Chairs at home, so we may just settle on our sofas, beds or normal chairs. This beats the entire purpose of posture maintenance while working.
Try consciously sitting upright much as you can, that will only help your back & nape and you might not get tired easily.
3) In case you are using a laptop, change place every two hours:
Human beings are designed to ‘move’, so sitting at one place for hours is not good for the body and mind. Changing place makes ‘work’ less mundane. Also, it is not ideal to keep the laptop on ‘lap’ for a longer time.
4) Stretch, exercise, Walk for 30 mins daily (inside the house):
Only 30 minutes of any of these activities is enough to start with. In fact, even a simple Zumba, dance or any other physical movement can pump up the blood! A lot of us are becoming lazy and it will have adverse effects in the future. Note this!
5) Get Sun light before mid-day.
Again, not many realise the importance of this. It is a vital nutrient for bones. We don’t step out as much as we used to, but we can always go to the balcony or Verandah for some time in the morning. And Sunlight is literally a ray of hope.
6) Do not eat at the place where you work:
Eating at the place where we work is so uncool. That is the reason why we have dining etiquettes. An excitement to have food with the family should be taken advantage of, during this time. What say?
7) Do at least one household chore daily:
Now, it has a psychological impact on our family members as well. Your helping hand will go a long way and also lead to lesser commotion at home. Try dishes, for beginners. 😛
8) Communicate and express yourself:
Talk to people and laugh. Be updated about things happening around. No one sees your face, so no one can read faces and understand your mood. It is better that we talk and sort things out. Trust me, it the best time to resolve back logs as well.
9) Attend nature’s call on time:
A very gentle reminder to take care of your well-being. Ignoring signals from your body will only hamper your health.
10) Take care of your mental health:
We all miss Office, the daily commute to work, outside food, dressing up for special occasions. But then, in these desperate times we need to take desperate measures. Taking care of your mental health is of the utmost importance. Just keep calm and do not shy away from talking about it. Dress up formally sometimes. Put on some make up and just enjoy.
Thank god for the job we have, we can work from home. Do not make it an intense experience, instead enjoy the ride.
We are all together in this! A little extra self-care never harms anybody.
Please take care, the World needs you.
P.S: ‘Wearing mask and washing hands’ may get included in the future definition of ‘Ergonomics’. Any thoughts?
(The article is contributed by Ms. Meghna Pithadia, you can read her blogs on www.thenewpastels.com)